evac·u·ate | \i-ˈva-kyə-ˌwāt, -kyü-ˌāt\
evacuated; evacuating

Definition of evacuate 

transitive verb

1 : to remove the contents of : empty

2 : to discharge from the body as waste : void

3 : to remove something (such as gas or water) from especially by pumping

4a : to remove especially from a military zone or dangerous area

b : to withdraw from military occupation of

c : vacate sense 1 were ordered to evacuate the building

intransitive verb

1 : to withdraw from a place in an organized way especially for protection

2 : to pass urine or feces from the body

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Other Words from evacuate

evacuative \i-ˈva-kyə-ˌwā-tiv, -kyü-ˌā- \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for evacuate


clear, empty, vacate, void


fill, load

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Examples of evacuate in a Sentence

People who live along the coast are being evacuated as the hurricane approaches. During World War II, children were evacuated from London to the country. Residents were ordered to evacuate the building. Residents have been ordered to evacuate.
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Recent Examples on the Web

At least 25 people are dead and over 3,200 have been evacuated after Guatemala’s Fuego volcano erupted on Sunday, according to an alert from the National Coordinator for Disaster Reduction in Guatemala (CONRED). Lindsay Kimble, PEOPLE.com, "At Least 25 Dead After Volcano Erupts in Guatemala," 4 June 2018 More than 1,700 local residents have been evacuated from the volcano's East Rift Zone on the Big Island of Hawaii, where lava from 20 fissure vents has destroyed 26 homes. Lyndsey Matthews, Popular Mechanics, "People Are Risking Their Lives to Take Selfies With the Hawaii Volcano Eruption," 17 May 2018 Get our daily newsletter By coincidence, Lev Dodin, the Maly’s artistic director, was also born in 1944, to a Jewish family which had been evacuated from Leningrad to Siberia. The Economist, "A great Russian director brings history to life on stage," 17 May 2018 Already, more than 2,000 residents on Hawaii's Big Island have been evacuated to protect them from serious dangers from the recent activity, including encroaching lava and noxious gases. Sarah Gibbens, National Geographic, "No, Hawaii's Volcano Won't Trigger a Mega-Tsunami," 17 May 2018 Frenchtown Township – which sits on Lake Erie in Monroe – has been evacuated in some areas and has seen floods of about four feet, according to the Frenchtown Fire Department. Omar Abdel-baqui, Detroit Free Press, "Interstate 75 at 8 Mile is flooded due to a pump outage, as heavy winds and rain continue," 15 Apr. 2018 Barr was hailed earlier this week by his fire chief and Gov. Scott Walker as a hero who helped the fire department evacuate more than 100 people from the downtown area before the explosion occurred. Max Bayer, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Mourners, including 700 uniformed officers, turn out to honor firefighter killed in blast," 14 July 2018 Something sparked the gas while firefighters and other emergency responders were evacuating people from the area. Todd Richmond, chicagotribune.com, "Communications subcontractor 'on site' ahead of fatal Wisconsin blast that killed firefighter, injured 11," 12 July 2018 The center said a total of 3,430 people had evacuated their homes in nine cities and counties by Wednesday morning to avoid landslides triggered by heavy rainfall. Washington Post, "Typhoon Maria barrels into China after pounding Taiwan," 12 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'evacuate.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of evacuate

15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for evacuate

Middle English, to draw off morbid humors, from Latin evacuatus, past participle of evacuare to empty, from e- + vacuus empty

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Dictionary Entries near evacuate






evacuation hospital


Statistics for evacuate

Last Updated

7 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for evacuate

The first known use of evacuate was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for evacuate



English Language Learners Definition of evacuate

: to remove (someone) from a dangerous place

: to leave (a dangerous place)

medical : to pass (solid waste) from your body


evac·u·ate | \i-ˈva-kyə-ˌwāt \
evacuated; evacuating

Kids Definition of evacuate

1 : to leave or cause to leave a place of danger Residents evacuated the burning building.

2 : to make empty : empty out

3 : to discharge waste matter from the body


evac·u·ate | \i-ˈvak-yə-ˌwāt \
evacuated; evacuating

Medical Definition of evacuate 

transitive verb

1 : to remove the contents of evacuate an abscess

2 : to discharge (as urine or feces) from the body as waste : void

intransitive verb

: to pass urine or feces from the body

Other Words from evacuate

evacuative \-ˌwāt-iv \ adjective

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Comments on evacuate

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